Staying fit not just for the kids
If you visit the Taupō Events Centre in the morning you might hear a hubbub of voices and laughter coming from the courts.
It’s not children’s sports, it’s the Masters’ Club Classes, a fitness program tailored especially for those over retirement age who want to reclaim their fitness and mobility and have fun while they do it.
The group are cheerful about the exercises, and more than happy to come up and explain why they keep coming back.
“It’s a very friendly group, a good incentive to get out and do exercise with others,” Jan Trim says as she lifts the kettle bell again.
“I’ve got a quote for you,” Barry Plank stops by mid-sprint. “Everyone comes and works out to their own pace, but if you want to be competitive, you can.” He’s off again, racing his partner to the other side of the gym.
Other participants share why they love this class. They’re all beaming.
“The cost is a real winner for me – same as a cup of coffee. There’s no dress code, no pressure,” Carol Joiner says.
Jill Roberts joins in to share her experiences: “I love it, I’ve been coming eight years. The group is just brilliant, did you know we’ve got two octogenerians among us? [The instructors] Kassidy and Michelle are really good and I belong to the gym upstairs – it’s amazing, so well equipped. Thanks to the council for providing this.”
There are about 25 people here today, but on the busier days there can be up to 30.
The class has been running since 2013, brought in during the AC baths renovation as a temporary replacement for the aqua-fit classes. It grew in popularity and has been made a permanent offering.
Taupō Events Centre fitness and activities team lead Doireann Meade says the group is a real delight.
“This group is awesome. It’s so nice hearing their laughter in the gym.
“The classes are a good way for them to socialise, leave the house, and stay healthy.
“Our instructors have recently done training on how to create fitness programmes for people with specific needs, you know; Parkinson’s, stroke, joint conditions – so they’re really well equipped to support people in their fitness journeys through these classes and in one-to-one sessions.”
Brent Carbines has found the classes particularly helpful.
“I’ve got Parkinson’s, so this class is very important to me. It helps keep my mobility and flexibility going, helps me mentally too. It’s important physically, the aerobics help with my heart and breathing, helps with pain management, becuase that’s what Parkinson’s does, it affects the muscles. This is one of the only things they know that helps slow progression.”
Ms Meade says the class meets a need that often goes unfilled in communities.
“It’s really important that we make sure no-one gets left out. That’s why we keep the prices really affordable.”
If you want to get a taste of the Masters’ or Masters’ Lite community fitness classes, visit www.taupodc.govt.nz/recreation/fitness-studio/fitness-classes to see when the next session is.
Get a taste of Masters’ Club fitness classes at the end of year free outdoor event on Thursday 15 December, from 8.30am which will be held on the grass between the Great Lake Centre and Taupō Library.